Thursday, November 29, 2018

Boyd Says Not Voting for District 1 Seat Was Nonpartisan Move

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2018 at 2:41 PM

click to enlarge Council chairman Berlin Boyd
  • Council chairman Berlin Boyd

Some members of the public have questioned Memphis City Council Chairman Berlin Boyd’s leadership during the council’s November 20th

attempt to fill the vacant District 1 seat, but Boyd said Thursday his decision not to vote was a measure to keep the decision nonpartisan.

A little over week after the council stood deadlocked on two candidates — Rhonda Logan and Lonnie Treadaway — Boyd released a statement saying he decided not to vote after the process “quickly became noticeably partisan in a nonpartisan body.”

“I decided early on that it was not prudent or appropriate for the chair to assert any influence on the process or vote on a matter that had the obvious potential to fall upon partisan lines,” Boyd said.

Boyd did vote for Treadaway a handful of times throughout the 100 rounds of voting, joining Council members Worth Morgan, Frank Colvett Jr., J. Ford Canale, Reid Hedgepeth, who were strong Tredaway supporters.

While, Logan was supported by Jamita Swearengen, Martavious Jones, Patrice Robinson, Joe Brown, Edmund Ford Jr., and Janis Fullilove.

Logan repeatedly received six votes — one shy of winning. While Treadaway averaged about three votes.

Boyd said when the meeting appeared to be getting out of hand and “there was no way we would get to seven votes for either candidate, he made efforts to adjourn the meeting so that “emotions could settle down and cooler heads could prevail at another meeting.”

The residents of District 1 deserve representation and a fair, nonpartisan process as set forth by the Charter of the city of Memphis, Boyd said.

“Again, I will be calling upon my fellow council members to allow their wisdom to supersede their emotions so that we can facilitate a smooth election process to fill these seats,” he said.

The chairman said he has not decided if he will be voting when the council picks up the process at its December 4th meeting.

“Leadership requires hard choices at times, and leading is exactly what I intend to do,” Boyd said.

The District 1 seat became vacant earlier this month after Bill Morrison resigned to serve as the Shelby County Probate Clerk.

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